The risk of buying used electronics is always higher than purchasing other types of used items. The warranties on these older devices aren’t always valid. They may be defective, and may not last as long.
Still, you might save money and do your part to reduce environmental waste by buying used electronics. In most cases, you can achieve success if you discover some essential things you should know.
Apart from the obvious advice to avoid buying electronics from someone selling them in their trunks in a parking lot, how do you safely buy a used electronic?
What characteristics should you look for when you shop for an electronic device, and what are the warning signs that the deal might be too good to be true?
There are pros and cons to buying used electronics. But in this article, we’ll learn five things to know about buying them.
Whether it’s an Open-Box return or a Refurbishment
Expired products are returnable when their packaging is open and unused. It only makes sense that the buyer did not need it or that the product was carton damaged.
It’s important to note that all refurbished products need some maintenance, even if it’s something as simple as a clean. You can also ensure it’s a certified refurbished product.
Many countries and states prohibit businesses from reselling returned items as brand new, and the prices for these products usually fall.
If this is the case, it will help inquire whether the item was opened but not used.
The Product History and Future Use
Many products last for a long time and have many lives left, but others do not last as long. For instance, if the battery is not easily replaceable if it wears out.
It is also more likely that, over time, mechanical products will wear out. Check that the manufacturer still supports the software if the product has one. You may need to consider this depending on the electronic.
Smartphones, for instance, that rely on apps, will become obsolete far sooner than washing machines that never require software updates. There are versions of certain products that people know to have a bug. It would help to read online reviews.
Ask the owner if there are any problems with the product. Many devices might have trouble with the handle falling off, or the unit may overheat when idle for a couple of minutes.
Examine the product and determine if it has any defects. While reviewing the product, ask yourself what it would come with if it were new. This way, you’ll know if it’s missing anything, and you can adjust the price to reflect any missing parts.
Compatibility Issues May Arise
Even though it seems obvious, this is something you should know. It’s impossible to buy a TV without an HDMI port or Wi-Fi capability if you’ve got a TV and wireless internet set up in your house.
Likewise, you shouldn’t buy a new iPhone with a traditional earphone jack if you recently purchased Air Pod earphones.
Check out all the accessories that you currently use with your electronics. Make sure that you can use them with the new one. It will ensure you don’t end up blowing your budget on something that will require you to buy additional products to use your new electronics.
The Condition of the Used Electronic
You should assess the device’s condition once you have verified that it is authentic and working. It’s common for buyers to pay attention to scratches and dents, but these don’t matter so much.
Things get dropped – it happens. The existing scratches are unlikely to be anything more than cosmetic unless it’s a major one if the device works.
Here are some things you could check:
- Power cord – Many devices other than desktops, phones, and tablets must comply with this requirement. Verify that there is no fraying of the cable, that the outlet prongs are straight, and that the power brick is intact if one exists.
- Cooling – Make sure case fans, which provide active cooling, are working. You can feel if air moves over the intake or exhaust by holding your hand over them.
- Ports – Ensure there’s no deformity in ports, burned, or otherwise damaged (HDMI, USB, Ethernet, etc.
- Wireless – It is usually tricky to replace Bluetooth and Wi-Fi when integrated. Consider bringing a Bluetooth-enabled device and try to pair it. Also, try connecting it to a local Wi-Fi network if one is available.
Product Documentation is Vital
It is common for people to toss away electronic documents after buying. It is vital to keep them safe. Users can find help in these papers, especially during installation.
Besides the warranty, you will need to ask for other documents from the buyer.
Be sure to have the seller deliver you the papers. When transporting, storing, or using an item, the user manual, especially, comes in handy.
You can save a lot of money by buying used electronics, provided you keep an eye out for the things mentioned above.
As with any purchase, conduct some research before deciding. Ensure you assess the condition, determine any compatibility issues, product history, and whether it was an open box return or a refurbishment.
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